NBA rumors: Lance Thomas Brooklyn bound?

More on Lance Thomas Free Agency

Shams Charania: Former Clippers/T’Wolves forward CJ Williams has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Nets, and Brooklyn is progressing on deal to sign ex-Knicks F Lance Thomas too, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Greg Logan: Former Knick Lance Thomas has worked out for #Nets, NBA source confirms to Newsday. Strong possibility to add to veteran presence.
According to a league source, the Nets are seriously eyeing ex-Knick Lance Thomas, who has also scrimmaged with Knicks players this month. Thomas was the longest-tenured Knick before brass elected not to re-sign him.
Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony wasn’t the only former Knick participating in informal 5-on-5 scrimmages with the team on Thursday. Veteran free agent Lance Thomas also played in the games, per a source.
As of Wednesday, the Knicks still held $4 million of cap space and then a $4.8 room exception. They had only one spot left, though, on their 15-man roster. Lance Thomas is the favorite, as The Post reported, to fill the final spot. Vince Carter has also been mentioned. The Knicks could sign two players and cut one after a training camp battle.
The Knicks currently have 14 players on standard NBA contracts and two players on two-way deals. In the regular season, teams can carry 15 players on standard contracts and two players on two-way deals. So, projecting ahead to the season, the Knicks have room on the roster for one more standard contract. New York has roughly $4 million in cap space remaining and a $4.7 million exception. One name in consideration: Lance Thomas.
The club would like to bring back the veteran Thomas if the sides can agree on terms, as SNY reported last month. Thomas is well-respected by the organization for his professionalism and as a mentor to younger players. An SNY source said the club remains in touch with Thomas. The New York Post reported on Tuesday that Thomas is a "favorite" for the remaining roster spot.
They’ve been reportedly linked to Julius Randle, Bobby Portis,and Terry Rozier, and, according to sources, have shown interest in bringing back Noah Vonleh and Lance Thomas. They haven’t expressed interest in taking back other teams’ problematic contracts to add long-term assets, preferring to prioritize only adding players who can help them be more competitive next season.
The club values his leadership, professionalism, and the way he's mentored the franchise's younger players. Speaking in general on free agency this summer, LanceThomas said, "We'll see what happens. Free agency is always unpredictable. You think you know until it happens, so let the cards fall where they want to and we'll see what happens."
The Knicks have shown interest in bringing back Lance Thomas next season, according to league sources, likely at the league minimum, as SNY’s Ian Begley first reported. Though Thomas signed a four-year deal in 2016 and is under contract for roughly $7.6 million next year, only $1 million is guaranteed and the team must make a decision by end of the month whether to pick up the whole thing. While Thomas, 31, played just 46 games in 2018-19 because of injuries and fell out of the rotation at times, he was well-liked by head coach David Fizdale for his veteran leadership and defensive versatility. Thomas also has distinct offensive skills — he was a 46 percent shooter on corner 3s in 2016-17 and 17-18, according to Cleaning The Glass, which made him one of the best forwards in the league at that.
New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has re-signed forward Lance Thomas to a contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves never offered him a contract. But had many talks... - RT: Chris Haynes: Forward Lance Thomas has reached a multi-year agreement to re-sign with Knicks, league source tells @clevelanddotcom.
Ian Begley: Update: the Knicks have rescinded the $2.7 million qualifying offer to Langston Galloway, per league sources. This was likely done to fit Brandon Jennings' deal into cap space. This doesn't preclude the Knicks from re-signing Galloway but makes it a bit more difficult. The club has not renounced free agent Lance Thomas, so it can use Early Bird rights to sign him to a deal worth a max of approximately $6.2 million.
While defensive forward Lance Thomas has been courted by five clubs, even turning down an offer from the Clippers, his chances of remaining a Knick still are “better than 50-50,” according to an NBA source familiar with the matter. “He still wants to stay,” the source said. “He likes the moves they’ve done.” Thomas’ reps met with Knicks general manager Steve Mills here Sunday to debrief him on his free-agent courtings. The Knicks have a cap hold on Thomas, meaning they can go over the salary cap to re-sign him. The Knicks have his early Bird rights, and the max they can give him is a starting salary of roughly $6 million.
The Timberwolves, Spurs, Clippers, Thunder and Pelicans are interested, and Thomas has received at least two offers that would slightly top what the Knicks can do.
Ian Begley: Both Lance Thomas & Langston Galloway heard from several teams tonight. Among the teams to contact Thomas include the Thunder, Timberwolves, Nets and Hawks. The Knicks would like to keep both Galloway and Thomas. They extended a qualifying offer to Galloway earlier Thursday, which gives them the opportunity to match any offer made to the second-year guard. They have no such assurances with Thomas and it may be a challenge to fit Thomas' deal into their cap space if they hope to add a shooting guard and center Joakim Noah into their $30 million in room.
After averaging 8.2 points a game and shooting 40.4% from 3-point range for the Knicks last season, the free-agent forward and Brooklyn native is receiving interest from the Nets and about a dozen other teams, according to one source. The Knicks, too, are interested in possibly bringing Thomas back, the source said, but team president Phil Jackson has more pressing concerns in the free-agent market. For the 6-foot-8-inch Thomas, who attended two different high schools in New Jersey, the ability to pick his next team is a new luxury. The 28-year-old journeyman initially bounced between the D-League and New Orleans after leaving Duke. From there he played in China and Oklahoma City before landing at Madison Square Garden and becoming a reliable rotation player for the Knicks.
Ian Begley: Phil Jackson says that he expects to re-sign both Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas. But the Knicks likely will have competition for both players. The Thunder, Nets and Mavericks are among the teams who are expected to have interest in the 28-year-old Thomas, per league sources say. The market for Thomas is unclear but hell certainly benefit from the salary-cap increase. The cap will increase from $70 million to $94 million this summer.
Frank Isola: The Knicks want to he re-sign free agents Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway, two hard working role players & high character guys.
That number would jump to $35 million if the club renounced all of its free agents, including guard Langston Galloway and forward Lance Thomas. The guess here, though, is that both Galloway and Thomas will be back. But the Knicks likely will have competition for both players. The Thunder, Nets and Mavericks are among the teams who are expected to have interest in the 28-year-old Thomas, sources say.
Industry sources believe Thomas can triple his salary and get a mid-level-range contract, perhaps starting at $4.5 million. The Knicks, if they exercise a cap hold of $2 million, can make a competitive offer because they hold Thomas’ early Bird rights. “I love New York,” Thomas said. “I really don’t know what’s going to happen, to be honest. I love New York, I’m from the area. If it works out that way, I’d love to come back.”
Still, Thomas’ season ended morosely. He re-injured his left knee during a non-contact pregame warmup drill in Denver on March 8 and missed the rest of the season. According to a source, Thomas inflamed a nerve inside the knee — a different injury than his knee sprain from late January. Thomas said he would’ve been ready to return had the Knicks made the playoffs. A source said signing with a playoff contender also will be a factor for Thomas now that he finally may have choices.
Giving up his other 2015 signees Arron Afflalo and bench sparkplug Derrick Williams, though, is unlikely. Despite their recent slumps, the Knicks consider Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams as revelations, part of the core and prefer they don’t opt out. Robin Lopez and Lance Thomas are also part of the inner circle.
For now, NBA coaches are talking up Thomas more than the media and fans. Thomas signed this offseason for a little more than the minimum — a one-year, $1.5 million deal. But come July 1, when Thomas becomes a free agent again, the fans may become disappointed when Knicks president Phil Jackson is unable to re-sign him because of his growing price tag. The Brooklyn-born Duke product is shooting an excellent 47.7 percent — 41.6 from 3-point range – and averaging 8.7 points per game. Until this season, Thomas never had a 3-point shot, attempting 22 in his first four seasons. He’s already taken 77 this season and it’s mid-January. It would seem that vague Most Improved Player Award is meant for the kind of season Thomas is weaving.
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July 13, 2020 | 2:32 pm EDT Update
His path from experiencing poverty in Greece to becoming a multimillionaire MVP included sacrifice, which he refuses to lose sight of despite his current status. “I’m in a situation where I’m extremely blessed and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there’s always something to complain, there’s always a problem and an issue,” Antetokounmpo said. “But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.
“This is something special,” he continued. “Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I’m just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I’m happy that we’re back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there’s nothing really to complain about.” Even before entering the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World, Antetokounmpo said he thought “this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win” because of the circumstances. He jokingly admitted that he “sucked” during the Bucks’ first five-on-five scrimmage at Monday’s practice but thinks everyone will shake the initial rust once the ball is tipped for real competition.
Rodriguez, who last starred with the Yankees, and fiancée Lopez have put $300 million of their own money toward the bid. Other investors include future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe Thomas, who spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns, two-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee. “Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”
July 13, 2020 | 1:31 pm EDT Update

Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Westbrook tweeted Monday that he tested positive before his Rockets teammates were scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World for the resumption of the NBA season Westbrook tweeted he is “currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared.”
1 hour ago via ESPN
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Houston Rockets' Bruno Caboclo breaks quarantine

Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo unintentionally broke quarantine, making him subject to an extended quarantine period and enhanced coronavirus testing, league sources told ESPN. After players entered the league’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort last week, anyone who either is caught leaving for an unauthorized reason or who broke the initial quarantine period (which covered being confined to your hotel room until passing multiple coronavirus tests in a longer-than 24-hour span) will be subject to the league’s re-entry protocols.
This means having to undergo enhanced coronavirus-19 testing – meaning the ones with the long swab up the nose, as opposed to the less invasive ones players are getting during their time in the bubble — in addition to a 10-day quarantine period in their hotel room. Caboclo left his room during the initial quarantine period, a source said. He was unaware that he was not allowed to do so, despite the league informing all players and staff of the protocol. “He should’ve known,” the source said. “It was no secret.”
Sources told ESPN that Caboclo’s time in quarantine is now down to eight days. He is expected to rejoin the team once his quarantine is complete. The Rockets are still awaiting the arrival of stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Orlando, as well as forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Sunday that all three are likely to rejoin the team sometime this week.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Since the G League season was officially ended during the league’s stoppage of play and NBA team rosters were expanded for the remaining seeding games and playoffs, Bol has joined the Nuggets in the bubble and has been practicing with the team. “He (Bol) only practiced with us in Denver a few times during the season,” Malone said Saturday. “To see him out there playing and doing things that a lot of people can’t do, it’s really remarkable. I have to remind myself how young he is. He is extremely talented and skilled.”
The Los Angeles Lakers trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Quinn Cook tried to get some 2K action going to pass the time in the bubble, and the results turned out to be catastrophic. Things did not really go as planned, with the servers crashing even before they could get a game in. As it turns out, there were too many spectators on the feed, so the 2K servers were unable to cope.
July 13, 2020 | 11:39 am EDT Update
Rivers: If he was in an era 10 years ago, Boban would be a big-time player. He’s just in an era where he’s 10 years too late. And he’s still in the league doing his thing, but make no mistake about it, if he was in 2003, 2006, Boban would be a force to be reckoned with. Van Gundy: I’ve always wondered if I, you know, should’ve played him more. You get so concerned with the defensive end of the floor, but with what he can do offensively, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have been better off playing him more and dealing with whatever defensive problems came up.
Van Gundy: The guy gets no privacy, yet the way he responds to people is so good and with such generosity and such kindness to people. You would think at some point you would get really, really tired of it, and he may, but he certainly never shows that and I never even heard him convey that. It’s genuine. He’s not out there faking it, and then walking around saying, “I’m really tired of this s— with everybody bugging me.” I think he genuinely enjoys being around people.
Kaminsky: The first time I ever played against Boban, we were playing in San Antonio. Tyler Hansbrough was on my team at the time. … And Boban checks into the game, and he’s standing next to him at the free-throw line, and I’m trying to talk to him, but Tyler’s standing there staring up at him, like, This is the biggest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. Literally, there’s a video, I’m standing on that side of the lane trying to get his attention, he’s just standing there, like, [Kaminsky pauses, leans back, looks upwards, mouth agape, miming what Hansbrough looked like].
The league’s first crack at sponsored entertainment for the players fell flat. On Saturday night, the NBA brought in three disc jockeys to spin records at poolside parties at each of the three Disney hotels housing players. Almost no one showed. “The first time I heard about the DJ thing was (Sunday),” Davis said. “Dwight (Howard) told me he was the only one there. I think, quite frankly, a lot of guys didn’t know about it. I know the NBA is trying to make this as comfortable as possible and as relaxing as possible for us, and just make everyone feel as home as possible.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Another African American senior league executive, speaking anonymously, asked why Eversley didn’t get interviewed for the top job. “With all due respect, I am delighted that Marc Eversley is the GM of the Bulls,” the league executive said. “But why wasn’t Marc Eversley interviewed to be the president of basketball operations? Why was there no one of color interviewed for that position? You mean to tell me that there was nobody in the mind of the leadership of the Bulls qualified to take on that job as president? Or was it just that they don’t know anybody? “So the question I’m asking is what took them so long. Somebody needs to ask the question. That question needs to be asked more and more league-wide.”
As in any industry, connectivity is imperative, and often times cultural perspective can get ignored. But that perspective is pivotal in every aspect of NBA business, from scouting to coaching to negotiations. “It’s a relationship business,” the Western Conference exec said. “You’ve got to have relationships with the players and coaches. For all of us to be connected in some form or fashion it only bodes well. There should be no separation. Everyone should be working together to push the franchise forward and win.”
Pocius went on to play for Real Madrid and Galatasaray — a team in Istanbul — with two more stints with Zalgiris Kaunas sandwiched in between. Seven years into his playing carer, Pocius initially had no intention of stopping. However, his body had a different idea. “Since I played at Duke, I had had seven surgeries,” Pocius said. “It took a toll on my body and I was in this cycle of getting injured, having surgery, trying rehab, all to come back and then have it happen all over again … I was reaching a point where I wasn’t enjoying basketball as much as I used to. I was a gym rat and I loved the gym, and it wasn’t fun being there anymore.”
Connelly looked at Pocius and said, “Well, if you just want to retire and come join us, we’ll make that happen.” Pocius thought it was a joke. And at that time, retiring seemed far-fetched. But after he made the decision to stop playing Pocius reached out to Connelly to see if the offer was still on the table. “I flew out to Las Vegas for Summer League and I met with Tim and all the other guys and one thing led to another,” Pocius said. “I’m truly happy that I decided to retire when I did.”
July 13, 2020 | 9:17 am EDT Update
Alex Poythress joined Zenit Saint-Petersburg on a one-year deal, the Russian club announced on Monday. Eurohoops previously reported on the deal between the two parties. “I am very pleased to join Zenit, an organization that plans to make a breakthrough in EuroLeague this season,” he noted upon signing per the official site of his new team, “I heard a lot of amazing things about Saint-Petersburg and can’t wait to join the team.”
Storyline: Alex Poythress Free Agency
Three weeks ahead of the NBA’s planned resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort, the league’s Global Innovation Group is considering several scenarios for next season, including one that would begin in March and run through October 2021. An internal planning document obtained by Morning Consult outlines four scheduling scenarios the league is considering for next season, including one in which it would push the start of next season back to March if there is a path to a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic treatment that increases the likelihood that its teams could host fans in their home arenas over the course of an 82-game schedule.
The document spells out a wide variety of “levers” the league could pull in developing its plans for next season depending on the state of the pandemic. These include holding a play-in tournament for the playoffs, playing with the timing of a potential All-Star Game, rolling schedule releases, increasing game density, building in buffers for canceled or rescheduled games and potentially using alternate sites like neutral markets or practice and G League facilities. One plan, which is contingent on an improving COVID-19 situation, would essentially involve the league putting on a traditional 82-game regular season, just bumped back from its usual October start date. It would feature a traditional schedule release and standard matchups (16 games against divisional opponents, 36 nondivisional intraconference games and 30 interconference games).
“Ron Adams is our resident – is oenophile correct?”Kerr asked on this week’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast. “In fact, when I interviewed Ron to come aboard with the Warriors in 2014, my assistant Nick U’Ren and I took Ron out to dinner to interview him. We ordered a bottle of wine. It was an Italian restaurant. They didn’t have any California Pinots, which is what we were looking for. And the waiter said, ‘You know, if you want, I’ll bring you kind of the Italian version of a Pinot.’ We said great. “So he brings back the wine, he opens it up, he gives Ron the taste – you know, how you swish it around (in your mouth)? Well, Ron became the first person I’ve ever been to dinner with who sent the wine back. On a job interview!”
The Detroit opportunity comes with a pretty dismal short-term outlook, but it also could be more promising in the longer term. Sources tell me owner Tom Gores has been willing to spend money on the things fans don’t see (staff, scouting, training resources) that make life a lot easier for a rebuilding team. Additionally, the team is at a pretty clear transition point for Weaver to put his stamp on the team. The post-Blake Griffin-trade delusions of grandeur have been replaced by the grim acknowledgment that this team needs to rebuild and it could take a while.
July 13, 2020 | 9:15 am EDT Update
Alex Poythress joined Zenit Saint-Petersburg on a one-year deal, the Russian club announced on Monday. Eurohoops previously reported on the deal between the two parties. “I am very pleased to join Zenit, an organization that plans to make a breakthrough in EuroLeague this season,” he noted upon signing per the official site of his new team, “I heard a lot of amazing things about Saint-Petersburg and can’t wait to join the team.”
Storyline: Alex Poythress Free Agency
Three weeks ahead of the NBA’s planned resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort, the league’s Global Innovation Group is considering several scenarios for next season, including one that would begin in March and run through October 2021. An internal planning document obtained by Morning Consult outlines four scheduling scenarios the league is considering for next season, including one in which it would push the start of next season back to March if there is a path to a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic treatment that increases the likelihood that its teams could host fans in their home arenas over the course of an 82-game schedule.
The document spells out a wide variety of “levers” the league could pull in developing its plans for next season depending on the state of the pandemic. These include holding a play-in tournament for the playoffs, playing with the timing of a potential All-Star Game, rolling schedule releases, increasing game density, building in buffers for canceled or rescheduled games and potentially using alternate sites like neutral markets or practice and G League facilities. One plan, which is contingent on an improving COVID-19 situation, would essentially involve the league putting on a traditional 82-game regular season, just bumped back from its usual October start date. It would feature a traditional schedule release and standard matchups (16 games against divisional opponents, 36 nondivisional intraconference games and 30 interconference games).
“Ron Adams is our resident – is oenophile correct?”Kerr asked on this week’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast. “In fact, when I interviewed Ron to come aboard with the Warriors in 2014, my assistant Nick U’Ren and I took Ron out to dinner to interview him. We ordered a bottle of wine. It was an Italian restaurant. They didn’t have any California Pinots, which is what we were looking for. And the waiter said, ‘You know, if you want, I’ll bring you kind of the Italian version of a Pinot.’ We said great. “So he brings back the wine, he opens it up, he gives Ron the taste – you know, how you swish it around (in your mouth)? Well, Ron became the first person I’ve ever been to dinner with who sent the wine back. On a job interview!”
The Detroit opportunity comes with a pretty dismal short-term outlook, but it also could be more promising in the longer term. Sources tell me owner Tom Gores has been willing to spend money on the things fans don’t see (staff, scouting, training resources) that make life a lot easier for a rebuilding team. Additionally, the team is at a pretty clear transition point for Weaver to put his stamp on the team. The post-Blake Griffin-trade delusions of grandeur have been replaced by the grim acknowledgment that this team needs to rebuild and it could take a while.
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